Organic ups and downs

December 2009

Those of you who care about such things will know that after five years work, the Organic Federation of Australia (OFA), working with the government body Standards Australia, came up with an organic standard, which means there is a legal definition of what is and what isn’t organic, and anyone breaking the law can, theoretically, be prosecuted. It seems that’s being tested.

Not long ago, I had a call from Miriam and Jack Nielson of Pasture Perfect Pork, a certified organic product, who told me that several butchers and at least one restaurateur were claiming to sell organic pork and weren’t. Early glitches. As I understand it from Andre Leu, CEO of the OFA, this is being fixed.

But it’s up to you to keep retailers and producers up to the mark. If someone tells you that what they’re selling is organic, ask politely to see the accreditation logo (to check them out, go to ofa.org.au) and if they don’t or won’t show you, dob ‘em in. You’ll be doing the fair-dinkum farmers a favour.

Meanwhile, we learn that in Denmark, about one-third of all retail grocery is organic, thanks to a co-op retail chain called COOP, with about 1.6 million Danes being members. More organic produce is sold there than anywhere else in the world. To find out more, go to theland.farmonline.com.au and put COOP Denmark into the search bar.

I don’t know about you, but I very much like the idea of co-ops as a way to counter the influence of the Big Two (plus Thomas Sux) that dominate our food retailing. Let’s take back control.

Meanwhile, check out some of our local co-ops. There’s Alfalfa in Enmore, Green Tucker Store in Forestville and the newest, the Chippendale Fresh Food Co-op, 20 Kensington Street, visit chippendalefreshfoodcoop.org.

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